Emergency situations can threaten life, property, business continuity and an organization’s reputation. We always hope for an emergency to be resolved quickly with minimal damages — but often times disasters are not handled well and crisis communication skills (or lack thereof) are to blame. Here at Pocketstop, we aim to empower your organization with effective crisis communication tools. Below, we’ve outlines several crisis communication strategies that many organizations fail to use that can make all the difference when disaster strikes.
Hope for Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
We all know hope isn’t a strategy. But when you’re prepared you don’t have to hope, you can expected the best outcome. Believe it or not, many organizations think they are prepared, but when it comes down to it, they are just plain and simple not ready. Crisis communication becomes confusing as many people are not operating at their best during an emergency. Crisis communication also breaks down because people have not been trained on what to do. Add emergency planning and training to your strategic outlook and consider things like business continuity, evacuation routes, public relations and, of course, crisis communication plans.
Don’t be reactive, be proactive.
At the first sign of a developing emergency situation get your ducks in a row. Use crisis communication tools and skills to keep your workforce and others informed before they bombard you with questions, concerns and comments. Being proactive in your crisis communication will keep people content. However, there is a balance. Distributing sensitive information too early or using a tone that creates panic or alarm should be avoided. Often times though, we wait to communicate. Being proactive about crisis communication can eliminate rumors and misinformation and keep people at ease.
Display confidence, not arrogance.
To an organization, business continuity and reputation are huge. But in an emergency, depending on the situation of course, an organization’s stakeholders may find other things more important. Use crisis communication tools and skills to display confidence to all stakeholders that you are taking care of the things they value. Don’t be arrogant and use your crisis communication tools to announce “everything will be okay” or “we will be keeping normal business hours” when these statements are untrue or would put some stakeholders in undue danger.
Appoint trusted, confident leadership.
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned emergency to find out who will step up. But don’t put that pressure on your workforce. When your organization crafts its emergency action plan, designate leaders who will be responsible for employing your crisis communication steps. Don’t stop there. Let your entire workforce know who will be in charge during times of distress. Crisis communication breaks down many times because no one knows who is in charge and no one knows what their individual responsibilities are.
Use technology wisely.
Your organization has an online presence, your employees have company phones and your customers can live chat with you 24 hours a day. Your organization embraces technology in all facets. But your crisis communication plan involves pulling out a phone tree from a dusty binder that was printed over two years ago. One of the best investments you can make in your organization is to use digital technology to improve crisis communication efforts during an emergency. The RedFlag mass notification system is a digital crisis communication system that is available anytime, anywhere and streamlines crisis communication efforts for even the largest of organizations.
Don’t wait until the next planning session or strategy meeting. Act now. Sit down and discuss your organization’s crisis communication plan. Do you have one? Do you know how you will communicate to your workforce and all of your stakeholders during a crisis? If you answered no, or you realized your current efforts need an update, give us here at Pocketstop a call today. We can help you implement the RedFlag mass notification system so you’ll be well ahead of any emergency that might come your way. Contact us today at 877-840-2444.